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Council may act to reduce nuisance and protect lake wildlife

Ashford Council launches consultation before deciding what action to take

Ashford Borough Council has launched a consultation on the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for Conningbrook Lakes. This will allow the council to set a range of measures to address anti-social behaviour and help to improve the local environment and community safety. The consultation began on Monday (April 12) and runs until midnight on Monday, May 10.

PSPOs allow councils to tackle anti-social or damaging behaviour which takes place in a specific, geographical area (as opposed to criminal behaviour orders and injunctions which are directed at individuals). A PSPO is tailored for defined activities, meaning that anyone carrying them out in an area under one of these orders can be issued with a fixed penalty notice or be prosecuted.

The proposed area of Conningbrook Lakes was identified by the council, police reports and complaints received from residents for nuisance issues as well as impacts on local wildlife. A number of restrictions have been put forward and include no camping or caravanning, dogs to be kept on leads at all times, no unauthorised water activities and all anglers must have the appropriate licence and membership.

Following the end of the consultation period, all responses will be analysed and the results reported back to the council. The council will then decide whether the order will be introduced or whether any changes need to be made.

Alison Oates, Community Safety and Wellbeing manager, says: “Explaining to people why their behaviour is not acceptable is often enough to deal with a situation, without the need to resort to enforcement action.

“However, where problems may be persistent, by adopting a PSPO, both council officers and the police will have more powers to prevent such anti-social behaviours immediately and on the ground.

“Conningbrook Lakes is not only a beautiful place to visit but also home to a range of animal and plant life. As well as ensuring our residents (and visitors) can enjoy the area the PSPO can also contribute to the protection of the local wildlife.”

Residents can find out more about the consultation and take part in it via https://haveyoursay.ashford.gov.uk/ConningbrookPSPO/consultationHome.

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David Buckley

Dave Buckley is a career journalist. “I once went painting girders for a week and discovered I didn’t like heights,” he says. “Apart from that it has always been journalism for me in one form or another.” Past local weekly publications he has worked for include: the South-East London Mercury* covering the Borough of Greenwich as a junior reporter; Orpington-based News Shopper as a sub-editor; and the Kent Messenger when based in Larkfield, Maidstone, as deputy chief sub-editor. He has also worked for the following dailies/nationals: Daily Express, Today*, News of the World* and Hong Kong Star*. All those marked with an asterisk no longer exist (trend emerging?). He owned and edited a Thailand-based property magazine before returning to England and currently works as a production editor on a car fleet magazine. His first foray into property ownership saw him move from London to Rainham (the Gillingham, Kent, variety). He has subsequently lived in Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Orpington in the Borough of Bromley (which he still regards as being in Kent). In more recent years he owned three different properties on the Kings Hill (West Malling) development.

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